Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another Summer of Art in San Francisco

This summer two major art exhibitions will arrive in San Francisco. The first to open is "Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Adams, a San Francisco native, befriended O'Keefe in 1929 and became lifelong friends. This show includes over 100 of their works depicting the natural world. The show opens on May 30 and closes September 7. Past shows by these two icons of American art have been very popular, so I suggest purchasing tickets in advance. SFMOMA is open Friday - Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. - 5:45 p..m. The museum is open from 11:00 a.m. - 8:45 p.m on Thursday and closed on Wednesday.

The second, and even bigger, show will be "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" at the de Young Museum. When Tutankhamun works were last shown 30 years ago, the exhibition was an overwhelming success. Again, buy your tickets in advance to ensure that you'll be able to visit. The show opens on June 27. The exhibition will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. through September 30. From October 1, 2009 through March 28, 2010, the De Young will revert to its usual hours of 9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays. On Fridays, the museum will close later at 8:45 p.m.

If you're visiting San Francisco this summer, days can be chilly so enjoy the indoors by visiting one or both of these blockbuster exhibits.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Beautiful Gardens South of San Francisco

Spring is here and Filoli has reopened for the season. This beautiful country estate, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco, is an historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The mansion was built by the Bourn family and designed by famed San Francisco architect, Willis Polk. Construction started in 1915 and the family moved in during 1917. The Roth family purchased the estate in 1937. Mrs. Roth lived there until 1975 when she donated the house and surrounding gardens to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mrs. Roth was instrumental in making the gardens the world-class attraction they are today.

While the house is interesting, it's the gardens that make this a must-see attraction for flower lovers. If you are a film buff, you might have seen Filoli in "Heaven Can Wait," "Joy Luck Club," the "Wedding Planner," and other films. It was also pictured in the television shows, "Dynasty" and "Nash Bridges."

Visitors may take a self-guided or docent-led tour of the house and gardens. If you wish to take a docent-led tour, advance reservations are highly recommended. Filoli's 2009 season runs through October 25. The estate is open from 10:00 - 3:30 from Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday hours are 11:00 - 3:30. Filoli is closed on Mondays and on most holidays.

If you would like to take a private tour that includes a visit to Filoli, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or